Things That Matter

VIDEO: Drunk Driver Runs Red Light And Good Samaritan Saves Family Crossing Through Intersection

The Phoenix Police Department shared a chilling street camera video that depicts the moment a family of three, with another on the way, were almost mowed down by a man believed to be driving drunk. Ulysses Betancourt and his wife, Gabrielle Burns, had just gotten off the bus. With their baby, Damian, strapped into his stroller, the family of three watched the crosswalk signal turn on, and started crossing the street.  

Suddenly, a Jeep speeds past the red light and into the intersection, just feet away from hitting the family in what would likely have been a fatal accident. Thankfully, an innocent driver in a Chevy Cruz plows into the Jeep just in the nick of time. The Phoneix Police Department is dubbing the driver “a hero” that “may have saved the lives of a couple pushing a stroller through a Phoenix crosswalk.”

The street camera footage clearly shows the family making their way across the street.

Credit: @phoenixpolice / Twitter

Gabrielle and Ulysses were doing everything right. The footage shows the walk signal begins to countdown, signaling the couple that it’s still safe to cross. Several cars making left-hand turns were trying to beat the red light by turning into the crosswalk, though the pedestrians had the right-of-way.

Suddenly, you see the Jeep pummeling straight toward the family.

Credit: @phoenixpolice / Twitter

The Chevy Cruz had a green light, and no way to expect a speeding Jeep would suddenly enter the intersection. For everyone but the drunk driver, it was as normal night as any. “An angel in the form of a Chevy Cruz may have saved the lives of a couple pushing a stroller through a Phoenix crosswalk at 53rd Ave & Indian School,” the Phoenix Police Department tweeted. “The innocent driver will be OK.  The red-light runner was arrested for DUI.” Shockingly, nobody died in the accident.

You can see just how close the accident occurred from the family.

Credit: @phoenixpolice / Twitter

Phoenix police have arrested Ernesto Otanez Oveso, 23, for driving under the influence and aggravated assault. Later, officers found a gun in the Jeep and tacked on a prohibited possession charge to his rap sheet. Oveso was released hours after his arrest.

Oveso and his unidentified female passenger both allegedly fled from the scene on foot. One witness averted their plans for the evening to tail Oveso. Once Oveso noticed he was being followed, he allegedly pulled out a knife and started to stab the car doors of the witness. 

Here, the Betancourt family is obscured by the collision happening just feet away from them.

Credit: @phoenixpolice / Twitter

The cars skid off to the right-hand side of the frame–exactly where the family was waiting to cross just 10 seconds before. If the family didn’t cross the street at that exact moment, they would have likely died. If the Chevy Cruz didn’t drive into that intersection at that exact moment, the family would have likely died. It’s a miracle if anyone’s seen one. One Twitter user said, “Miracles happen everyday. We were fortunate to observe one in this moment.”

“I can’t believe how close we actually were to being hit,” Ulysses shared on Facebook.

Credit: Ulysses Betancourt / Facebook

Me and Gabrielle Burns are the family crossing the street,” Ulysses Facebook captions the street camera video. “That night was scary seeing it from a different point of view I can’t believe how close we actually were to being hit.” A flood of comments from family and friends sent love to the family. 

Wow that is so scary. Glad you made it out safe that really was a close one,” comments Facebook friend Yadhira Chaparro. “Hope you guys are ok emotionally thats a lot to take in. I’m sure you are hugging your family even more tightly today.” Another friend, Daniela Isabel Galvan says, “I got the chills just watching it dude. So happy you guys are good! Los quiero mucho.”

Meanwhile, the xenophobes are doing their thing.

Credit: @investors_az / Twitter

Overwhelmingly, they’re of gratitude that the Betancourt family is safe, and hope that the consequences for Oveso lead to a life of recovery from the insidious disease of alcoholism.

“I feel like god was really looking out for us,” Ulysses shared in a social media post.

Credit: Gabrielle Burns / Facebook

In response to the influx of love and support coming from his Facebook friends and family, Ulysses shared his gratitude. “I’m so thankful nothing happened to my family,” he posted. “Especially because I had my son and another one on the way. I feel like god was really looking out for us.” Bendiciones.

READ: Woman Who Live-Streamed DUI Crash That Killed Younger Sister Released On Parole After 26 Months In Prison

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Latina L.A. County Deputy Was Shot In The Face But Saved Her Partner’s Life After A Gunman Ambushed Them

Things That Matter

Latina L.A. County Deputy Was Shot In The Face But Saved Her Partner’s Life After A Gunman Ambushed Them

David McNew / Getty

A shooting that occurred over the weekend in Compton, California has sparked shock, alarm, and outrage.

The shooting occurred sometime around 7 p.m. on Saturday at MLK Transit Center in Compton. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the gunman made his way toward the passenger’s side of the deputies’ car and shot two deputies with a pistol without precedent.

One of the victims is a 31-year-old mother.

On Saturday, the sheriff’s department tweeted surveillance footage of the shooting which also captured the gunman fleeing the scene.

According to reports, the gunman fired into the deputies’ car without pretext.

“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” Alex Villanueva, the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County, said in a statement. “It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time.”

According to Villanueva, both of the deputies (Claudia Apolinar a 31-year-old mother and a 24-year-old man) were sworn in just 14 months ago and are in critical condition at the hospital. According to the sheriff’s department both are “fighting for their lives” but “it looks like they’re going to be able to recover.”

Apolinar and her partner were both shot at close range. Apolinar was shot in the face and torso and her partner sustained multiple gunshot wounds Seeing that he was in need of immediate medical treatment, Apolinar managed to make a tourniquet for him before medics arrived.

According to the New York Post, Apolinar is a former librarian who graduated from the academy last year.

“We’ll see what the long-term impact is. We don’t know that yet, but they survived the worst,” Villanueva explained.

Local officials have announced a $100,000 reward for information on the gunman and his whereabouts.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke out against the attack and condemned it in a statement calling “Acts of lawlessness and violence directed against police officers are unacceptable, outrageous, and entirely counterproductive to the pursuit of greater peace and justice in America — as are the actions of those who cheer such attacks on.”

Speaking about the incident, Democratic US Rep. Adam Schiff called the attack “cowardly.”

“Every day, law enforcement officers put themselves at risk to protect our community,” Schiff stated in a post shared to Twitter. “I hope the perpetrator of this cowardly attack can be quickly brought to justice.”

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Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’


Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty

In early 2019, “Empire “actor Jussie Smollett found himself thrust into the public spotlight of scrutiny after it was reported that he had been the victim of a hate crime. His original claim initially prompted public outrage and a flood of support from fans. Then, nearly three weeks later, the public was shocked to learn that Smollett had been charged with disorderly conduct and the false filing of a police report after it was determined that the attack had been staged. Worse? Officials suspected that Smollett himself had choreographed the entire attack from start to finish. In March of 2019, the actor was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report that claimed two men attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.

Since then, the charges against Smollett have been dropped but his reputation remains tarnished. The court of public opinion has determined that he is a liar and fabricator. Ultimately he was dropped from his role on his show and he has remained relatively silent about the issue.

Now, a year after the alleged attack Smollett is speaking out about the controversy in a rare interview.

On Wednesday, the actor made an appearance in an Instagram Live conversation with author and activist Marc Lamont Hill. During the interview, Smollett addressed his ongoing trial calling the situation “frustrating, to say the least.”

“It’s been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” Smollett explained. “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It’s so much bigger than me.”

Smollett went onto share what the past year has done to him and shared that his legal team recently filed a motion against his indictment. The motion is set to be reviewed in court on Thursday. “I believe I have to give it up to God,” Smollett explained before adding that he thinks the legal motion will fall in his favor.

“They won’t let this go,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter — there is an example being made. And the sad part is that there’s an example being made of someone who did not do what they are being accused of.”

Addressing accusations that his original claims were all a hoax, Smollett said that “From the very, very beginning, it was set up to seem like I was lying about something or everything.”

Smollett claimed “there would be no reason for me to do this” and called the accusations “bulls—,” before adding that the “last thing” hew would ever want to do is “be portrayed as a victim.”

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